Monday, January 09, 2006

2+2=Holy Sh_t I'm Old!!

I am an octogenarian trapped in the body of a Generation X refugee. Want proof?

1) I have four bird feeders in my back yard. One just for finches. One cage to hold a suet cake. A SUET CAKE, PEOPLE!

2) At night I drive all squinty and hunched over, my nose pressed against the windshield, both hands clenching the steering wheel, blinker flashing while I wait at a stop sign for a car that just pulled out of a driveway in New Jersey.

3) Not only do I listen to Wisconsin public radio and watch PBS, I actually look forward to various programs. What's worse, I went on the WPR website to see what the hosts of my favorite radio shows LOOKED LIKE. (Patricia McConnell? Looks just like her voice. All cute and perky.)

4) I take 8 vitamins a day (and judging by the intense neon glow of my urine, I'm not absorbing half of them. But I still take them. Just in case.)

5) I get pissed when some young punk sits in his car by my house with his brown-sound bass thumping (but you should have seen who was rockin' out to the Ace of Base yesterday in her reliable Honda Civic and doghair-covered peacoat).

6) When I drink more than one alcoholic beverage, I can now hear my liver weeping softly.

7) I use words like "hankering" and "apace." Without irony, in regular conversation.

8) I fill in the scantron "shopper surveys" you sometimes get in the mail. Not because I have an abundance of free time, but because I'm afraid only old people fill them out and screw up the curve for the rest of us, completely effing up the marketing angles of important consumer products.

And I can prove that old people have already effed up the curve, because these are the categories in "Percent of Households with the Hobby:" Stamp collecting (7%), woodworking (21%), bird watching (17%), flower gardening (51%), needlework (22%), quilting (10%), wine appreciation (13%), sweepstakes (14%), and coin collecting (27%). Quiet, puttering sorts of hobbies for people with dentures and tardy bowel movements. Sadly, I participate in two of these hobbies. Guess which ones? (Here's a hint: the biggest hobby gives me blue lips and headaches on the weekends.) But here's how you know these hobbies only apply to old people: there is no mention of binge drinking, online deviance, tattoos, clubbing, or "gaming." (Otherwise known as the hole Jason falls into for hours at a pop on Friday nights.) Plus, there are no hobbies like mountain biking or skiing on the list, because these activites are not hip and joint-friendly.*

Anyway, turns out there's a special incentive for filling in these surveys, because just today I got the following "reward" items in the mail, FOR FREE: a packet of Quaker oatmeal, a Ziploc baggie that I already put leftover pizza in, and coupons for Glade plug-ins, shaving cream, Advil, and more Ziploc baggies. With all of these valuable prizes, I can only conclude that my filling in that survey was TIME WELL SPENT.

In other news, after reading this post by the Sarcastic Journalist, I have to say that the fly-eyed orphans have taken the lead in the “Win a Bedroom and College Savings Fund with the Rileys” contest. Sorry, future fetus. You’re going to have to come up with something better than the biological mother/child bond if you're hoping to beat the specter of lifelong incontinence, screaming nipple and crotch pain, and a house full of excrement.

* If you think I'm being unfair to the oldsters, you didn't see how pissed we got yesterday when two smarmy punkass kids parked in a "Senior" parking space at Shopko.


  1. just the word "suet cake" makes me laugh...!

  2. Anonymous7:20 AM

    Hey, Riley! Thanks for visiting my blog. This post is a riot. Love it. And congrats on the forthcoming novel!

  3. I know how to tat. I'm in bed by 9pm most nights. A late night is 10pm. I like to do crafty things. You're not the only one!

    You might like

    They send you samples (and coupons) of different things. Very fun to get in the mail, especially if you have little kids.

  4. Anonymous8:06 AM

    Hilarious post, Jess. Maybe if you cut back to 2 bird feeders, you'd feel less tied down and more vibrant. ;)

  5. Anonymous12:30 PM

    Jess, the secret to feeling young is to hang around with old people. I occasionally drive an 85-yr-old widow to church. Makes me feel really young and when she says stuff like, "It was hotter than hell in church tonight," I crack up. So I recommend you hang out with your parents more....:)

  6. Hi Jess!!!

    You crack me up!!! You are so much like me, it isn't funny!!

    Love your blog!!

    Your neighbor to the south,


  7. Maybe the kids thought SENIOR meant High School... heh heh!

  8. Anonymous7:52 PM

    It's not just you =) I was once resigned to the fact that I would become an old lady with lots of cats living here in my farmhouse and the birds would come and sit on my hand every day when I went to feed them. And the neighborhood kids would all think of me as "that weird old lady"... =)

    I have 4 feeders, but they are all empty at the moment. I've never lowered myself to suet though, only those handsome bell-shaped seed-balls =)

    And Jess, I'm very proud of you in your attempt to un-eff up the marketing efforts of consumer products. People like me just look to narrowly at the world... and clip a coupon here and there =)